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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Waving at Dave

I've kept a journal on my computer for a number of years. My entries were pretty sporadic during my working years; but, after my layoff/retirement in 2000, I've been pretty faithful about keeping it current on a daily basis.

I've found many benefits to this practice. The most obvious is that it provides a written record of events. When my aging brain refuses to recall them on demand, the journal program allows me to search for a word or phrase; and it will locate all the entries that contain that word or phrase.

Another fun benefit is that the journal often allows me to win arguments because I can look back and prove that the event occurred just as I said it did. Of course, if I look back and find that the event didn't occur that way, no one needs to know.

Since I've started blogging, though, I've discovered yet another benefit of journaling. Often, as I'm searching through the journal for something else, I'll come across an entry that provides a little blog fodder.

Following is an example:

Our good friend, Dave, had been laid off by the company where he had worked as an electrical engineer for most of his career. Instead of moping around about the layoff, Dave eagerly decided to pursue a career he had always wanted...as a truck driver. He took the CDL training and was hired by a local auto auction to pick up and deliver vehicles for the auction.

One morning, Dave called us to say that he would be passing through our little town in his Auto Auction truck. So Doug and I jumped into the car and drove down to the corner to watch for him. Our timing was perfect. As we arrived at the corner, we saw a big car hauler coming, so we both waved energetically until the driver waved back at us. Then we saw Dave in the truck that was following the car hauler.

Either Dave's truck route never took him through our little town again or he chose not to call us when it did.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Florida Birds

Here are a few more photos from our recent trip to Florida:

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Sandhill Cranes were a common sight on the Word of Life Conference Center grounds.

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This heron was begging food from a fisherman on the causeway leading to Fred Howard County Park.

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Notice the focused look in his eye.

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Pelicans are certainly unusual looking birds but surprisingly graceful in flight.

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Another pelican, immediately after he surfaced from a dive. It was a treat to see this bird repeatedly dive into the water, but I wasn't quick enough with the camera to catch the dive itself.

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This gull looked as proud as if he were sporting peacock feathers.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Florida in February

We just returned from Florida, where we spent a week enjoying sunshine and warm temperatures while visiting friends and attending a conference at Word of Life Florida. Even though it's been a pretty mild winter here in Indiana, it can't compare to the beautiful weather we enjoyed during our week in the Sunshine State.

Our friends, Dean and Marilyn, had taken their new 5th-wheel RV down there to spend a couple of months at the RV park on the Word of Life conference grounds.

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Above is a photo of Marilyn, Dean, and Doug relaxing outside the RV.

There were no rooms available at Word of Life for the week we were there, and no RVs available for rent in the RV park; so Doug and I were staying in a hotel about 10 miles away. We ate some of our meals with Dean and Marilyn in their trailer, some at restaurants, and some in the Word of Life dining room.

Doug and I did a little exploring one afternoon when there were no speaking sessions at the Word of Life conference center, and we found the delightful beach that was featured in my Florida Sunset post. Following are some other photos from that day.

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The beautiful white sand beach at the Fred Howard County Park near Tarpon Springs

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This gull was enjoying splashing in the water at the shoreline.

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This bird (a sandpiper, perhaps?) was digging furiously in the sand, with little regard for the humans who were sitting so close.

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A dolphin swimming past the beach, just off shore

The following two pictures are of the view to the east as the sun sank slowly into the west.

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IMG_4470_Sunset_at_Fred_Howard_County_Park

Friday, February 10, 2012

Why Men Should Never Be Depressed

Just think about it, guys...
  1. Your last name stays put.
  2. The garage is all yours.
  3. Wedding plans take care of themselves.
  4. Chocolate is just another snack.
  5. You can never be pregnant.
  6. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
  7. You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
  8. Car mechanics tell you the truth.
  9. The world is your urinal.
  10. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
  11. Wrinkles add character.
  12. Wedding dress: $5000. Tux rental: $100.
  13. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
  14. You know stuff about tanks.
  15. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
  16. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
  17. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
  18. Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
  19. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
  20. You almost never have strap problems in public.
  21. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
  22. The same hairstyle lasts for years, even decades.
  23. You only have to shave your face and neck.
  24. You can play with toys all your life.
  25. One wallet and one pair of shoes...one color for all seasons.
  26. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
  27. You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife.
  28. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
  29. You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives, on December 24, in 25 minutes.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Florida Sunset

Since we couldn't have the carpet reinstalled in the no-longer-sunken living room until the cement fully dried, and since we didn't particularly enjoy living in the mess, Doug and I decided to make a short visit to Florida.

The main purpose of the trip was to visit some friends who were spending a couple of months in the RV Park at Word of Life Conference Center in Hudson, Florida. But the conference didn't take up all our time, leaving us some opportunities to explore the area.

Beautiful beaches aren't as common as you might think, at least not in this particular part of Florida; but one day we found a spectacular one at the Fred Howard County Park. We spent the afternoon there and were rewarded with a lovely sunset that evening.

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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Dinner on the Bridge

Covered bridges are a relatively rare sight these days and are an object of interest and curiosity for many, including me. There is one located in a small town not far from where we live. Built in 1873, it's still in use by modern vehicles as well as by Amish horse-drawn carriages, although a "bypass" is now available for those who prefer to avoid the old structure.

100_4750a-Spencerville Covered Bridge

A few years ago, some friends invited us to attend a "Dinner on the Bridge" evening with them. It was apparently an annual event, although not one with which we were familiar.

The October event was a catered affair, with delicious food and live music.

HPIM1344a-Dinner on the Bridge

But it was COLD.

HPIM1349a-Doug & Linda-Dinner on the Bridge

The temperature was in the forties that evening, and the wind was blustery. Tarps had been hung over the ends of the bridge and over the windows along the sides, to block the wind, but it was still mighty cold. We had all dressed warmly, though, so the situation was tolerable. It WAS a bit hard to eat with our gloves on, but that wasn't enough to stop folks like us who really enjoy food (and who had paid for it in advance).

It was a fun evening, in spite of the weather, with good friends and good food and an event made more memorable by the challenges. But we never did it again.
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